still can’t use hands…but thanks to my old friend joe klein, one of the original partners in genghis cohen, we have the story and videos behind the classic seinfeld episode, “the chinese restaurant” which was inspired by genghis cohen and my keeping jerry and larry david(the series co-creator) waiting in line.
JERRY SEINFELD REMEMBERS GENGHIS COHEN!
by Joe Klein and Artie Wayne
JERRY SEINFELD and LARRY DAVID were among the major celebrities that ate at Allan Rinde’s GENGHIS COHEN, the restaurant I named and hosted for several years. One time Jerry and Larry came in and the restaurant was packed. Not a single table top was available for them and, as it turned out, even moving them to the “front of the line” still forced them to wait almost half an hour to be seated.
SEINFELD was rapidly gaining in viewership at the time and the program’s ratings were on the rise. I am sure that the star of a popular NBC show and one of its creators were not all that happy with the delay. But, as fate would have it, they managed to find humor in the situation, giving birth to one of the series most acclaimed episodes.
In 2004, all of the SEINFELD episodes were released on DVD’s, which included bonus features. One of the DVD extras is a documentary called HOW IT BEGAN, which chronicles the show’s origin and evolution into a monster hit. It included numerous interview clips with Jerry, Larry, the show’s other cast members and its writers. There’s a segment in the documentary where Jerry talks about a pivotal episode which was in Seinfeld’s second season. The episode is called “The Chinese Restaurant” and yes, you guessed it, it’s about the gang waiting for a table at a popular Asian eatery.
HEAR JERRY AND LARRY TALK ABOUT GENGHIS COHEN CLICK ONTO
“The Chinese Restaurant” is widely regarded as the episode that firmly established the premise of Seinfeld being the one and only TV show that was “about nothing,” a format which would propel the sitcom to the top of the ratings heap for years to come. NBC didn’t “get it,” and, at first, refused to produce the episode. But when Jerry and Larry protested and threatened to quit the show if it wasn’t made, NBC reluctantly agreed and the episode was produced. The network still had its doubts and relegated the airing of The Chinese Restaurant to late in the season, first airing it in May of 1991. It was the first SEINFELD episode that Jerry’s neighbor “Cosmo” (played by Michael Richards) didn’t appear in, much to his chagrin later when it went on to receive rave reviews and ultimately reach legendary status as a Seinfeld classic.
NBC broadcast their own “reunion” documentary, called THE SEINFELD STORY, on Thanksgiving night in 2004, which included parts of “How It All Began.” The Chinese restaurant episode was included in the NBC documentary as well.
Sure the glitterati graced Genghis Cohen on a regular basis. You never knew which celeb would come walking through the doors. But it’s safe to say that Allan and I never could have imagined that one of Hollywood’s most infamous waits for a table would inspire an episode that would help to turn Seinfeld into one of the most successful sitcoms in TV history!
TO SEE THE COMPLETE EPISODE OF “THE CHINESE RESTAURANT…CLICK ONTO http://www.tvpug.com/seinfeld-season-2episode-11the-chinese-restaurant/
To watch the James Hong interview talking about playing the host in “THE CHINESE RESTAURANT”on SEINFELD.
copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
photo at top L-R…James Hong, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Jerry Seinfeld
To contact Joe Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/
Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
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